• Home
  • Science
  • Science News
  • NASA’s Perseverance Rover Needs More Time, Money to Bring Back Mars Rock Samples: Independent Panel

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Needs More Time, Money to Bring Back Mars Rock Samples: Independent Panel

Scientists will analyse these samples to ascertain whether life ever existed on Mars.

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
NASA’s Perseverance Rover Needs More Time, Money to Bring Back Mars Rock Samples: Independent Panel

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This illustration shows how the NASA Mars Ascent Vehicle could be launched from the surface of Mars

Highlights
  • NASA's Perseverance rover is already more than halfway to Mars
  • Perseverance rover will hunt for the best geologic samples
  • The goal is to get the samples back in the early 2030s

NASA is underestimating the amount of time and money it will take to bring Mars rocks back to Earth in the coming decade, an independent panel said Tuesday.

The review board suggested that NASA and the European Space Agency consider bumping the next launches in the sample-return effort from 2026 to 2028, given all the technological challenges. These delays will increase costs, pushing the planning budget to $4 billion (roughly Rs. 29,800 crores) or more, $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,400 crores) more than currently envisioned by NASA, the panel noted.

Already more than halfway to Mars, NASA's Perseverance rover will hunt for the best geologic samples, after landing in February. It's aiming for Jezero Crater, believed to be an ancient river delta that may have once harboured microscopic life.

Scientists want to analyse these samples in the best labs on Earth, in hopes of ascertaining whether life ever existed in the planet's lush, wet past. The goal is to get the samples back in the early 2030s.

In order to do that, the space agencies have teamed up to develop a lander to fetch the samples, a rocket to get them off the Martian surface and an orbiting spacecraft to accept them and return them to Earth. All this gear will require two separate launches from Earth.

The chairman of the review board, David Thompson, retired chief executive of Orbital ATK, told reporters a two-year launch delay is advisable for the best chances of success. At the same time, however, no one is suggesting that NASA slow down, stressed panel member Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

NASA's science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, said the space agency will reassess the mission dates and consider all options. But for now, “it's full steam ahead ... we're not taking a break in any fashion.”


Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: NASA, Mars, Mars rock, Perseverance
macOS Big Sur Releasing Today: Seven Excellent Features to Watch Out For

Related Stories

 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2020. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com